So my trusty Oneplus One has finally given up the ghost after 3 years of uninterrupted service. The battery started to lose charge, requiring charging about 3 times a day if I dared had the screen on, and then the charge port decided to work intermittently,, meaning I think I sweated this asset enough and it was time to upgrade.

The Oneplus 5 was just out so this made it on to the short list, as well as the outgoing Oneplus 3T. I considered other various offerings around the similar price mark, and while I would have liked to have 128GB on board, I’d consider expandable storage as an option too. I like to carry a lot of films and music around for the train journeys which don’t offer much signal, or at least of a good enough signal to stream.

The price of the 128GB Oneplus 5 was eye watering, it sure has increased from the initial budget launch of the Oneplus 1 to now the mid range of smart phone, so this opens up to other contenders as well.

After a lot of research and scouring of the various sites for deals, I found a good deal on eBay for the Huawei Honor 9, 64GB in blue, brand new, for just less than £300. This seemed a cheap price, I guess this model just isn’t that popular in the UK right now, but great for me.

So, thoughts – whilst accepting the slight downsize in screen size (to 5.15 ” from 5.5″) would be welcome for my smaller thumbs, it initially felt a bit too small, however now I am used to it I quite like I the size overall, or is much better for one handed use.

Construction – it feels very nicely built and solid in your hand, and the glass back really makes it feel like a quality product. However it also makes it feel like a bad of soap (images of my Samsung S3 being launched out of my hand numerous times suddenly came back). I didn’t realise it would be quite this slippery. Glass front and back, and slippery. You know where this is going… So a bumper case seems a good idea, even if it will hide the beautiful rear of the phone. It sure looks good with the motor effect on the strong blue.

EMUI – this was a new one on me. I wasn’t too keen, radially especially on the home screen so I soon installed Nova Launcher to solve that one. The general GUI layout for all Android settings is EMUI’fied, which I’m not sure on yet. I’m hoping the XDA community can soon get a Lineage/Resurrection Remix ROM out.

It’s rooted already, adblock installed, all apps migrated across and in daily use. The battery is multitudes better, and for around £300 this is a pretty good buy. Oneplus 3T are still commanding high prices and the physical mute button would annoy me. Although the physical design of the H9 is very similar to the iPhone, the GUI design of EMUI is even more so!

Performance -although I’m not a huge mobile gamer pushing the GPU to the limit I do like to partake in a bit of 3d gaming indulgence and although the Oneplus One never really struggled (or I never pushed it enough), the performance of the Honor 9 is much much faster. Obviously the CPU is a huge increase but it flies in comparison. When I occasionally check back on the Oneplus One I realise how laggy it is just in general usage around the menus etc.

Sound -the built in speaker sounds ok, but this is of little interest to me as I prefer to listen using Bluetooth headphones (AKG Y50BT). The on board sound processing sounds pretty good, but I did install Viper Audio via Magisk to tweet the sound slightly. Hair hear.

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